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Day 2 in Cebu: Shangri-La Mactan’s Day in Paradise

2 Apr

As what I’ve written on my previous entry, Day 2 was definitely our favorite. 🙂

We woke up early to have breakfast at Verbena’s restaurant. Since there’s only 1 free breakfast (no free drink), we bought another meal (Php75) and a cup of hot chocolate drink (Php20). There’s free mineral water from the resto’s water dispenser so I suggest not to buy hot chocolate or coffee since it’s just a sachet of Milo or a sachet of a 3-in-1 coffee (or try bringing your own sachet! Hahaha!).

Verbena's Cafe Tukana

My Php95 breakfast meal --- tocilog + a sachet of Milo for my hot choc drink

A month before our trip, my boyfriend and I emailed Shangri-La Mactan asking about their day tour called Day in Paradise. According to the service manager, the payment of Php2,500/adult (Php1,300/kid) shall be made on the day the package will be availed and would not be available when the hotel is full. (So we were hoping that Shang would not be full on the date we’re planning to go to Mactan. Evil us! Hahaha!)

The Day in Paradise package is from 8AM to 9PM and the free lunch buffet at Tides is from 12NN to 2:30PM. The package inclusions are the following:

Lunch Buffet at Tides Restaurant
Free use of beach, pool, towels — you can use as many towels as you want
Free use of Gym and Health Club facilities (sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi)
10% discount on Health Club and Salon Services for adults
Complimentary 2 hours use of Kid’s Adventure Zone for kids (kids must wear long sleeves and socks)
25% discount on Dinner Buffet at Tides Restaurant

Anyway, after having our breakfast, we hurried to hail a cab going to Shangri-La Mactan. Some drivers would ask for a higher rate (Php350 and above) to drive you to Shang. I suggest you look for a metered cab since it just cost us less than Php300 to get to Shangri-La from Verbena Pension House.

As soon as we stepped in Shang’s grounds, we felt like we were indeed in paradise. The place is really beautiful (and looks really expensive, too). The front desk officer pointed us to Senses Souvenir Shop where we can pay for our day tour. The lady in Senses was really nice. However, she  answered us in Tagbisaya (combination of Tagalog and Bisaya) when we asked her questions in English. Good thing, I could still understand her even if I don’t know how to speak Cebuano.

When availing of the day tour package, I suggest you immediately hit the beach to get the first dibs on the chairs with huge umbrellas. Foreigners may love to bask under the sun, but they still like shade. 😛 By the way, there are no lockers at the beach area. You just have to leave your things on the shore.

the beautiful beach of Shang Mactan

marine life in the beach (Shang gives free food for the fish)

There are other water activities in Shang --- zorb, snorkeling, parasailing, diving, sailing, etc.

After having a hearty lunch at Tides, my boyfriend and I decided to try out the pools this time. And man, we loved the texture of the water! It’s like swimming in Evian! Seriously, are they using distilled mineral water for their pools? Hahaha!

Death by Tides!!! ;P (We were sssooo full!)


Shangri-La Mactan offers a ride to SM or Ayala for only Php100/head. Since Shang is far (if you’re coming from Cebu City and we saw that there were a few cabs on the road), we decided to take the shuttle’s last trip, which is at 5pm. Had we known that the guards from the entrance by the road could hail a regular metered cab for their guests, we could have stayed longer. We initially thought that the cabs hailed by Shang guards could have a “hotel rate” for their fare.

shuttle sched

Anyhow, at 3:45pm, we decided to go to the Health Club to have a shower since we have no room where we could change our clothes. FYI: Males and females have separate room. According to my boyfriend, males would have to get naked when they enter the locker room/changing area when trying out the steam bath, sauna, and jacuzzi. For the females’ room, it’s fine to wear your swimsuits.

Health Club

After taking a bath, my boyfriend and I met up at the common area in the Health Club. We still had time to take pictures before our shuttle arrived to drop us off at SM Cebu City.

From SM, we took a cab to get to Tabo-An Market. It was a HUGE mistake not to check out the local products’ prices in SM before going to Tabo-An because the products are indeed cheaper in SM Cebu’s Snack Exchange area in the departmet store. Take for example, a 200 gram dried mangoes in Tabo-An is Php120 (it’s Php119.75 in Manila), but in SM Cebu, the same brand and weight is only Php94.75! So I suggest to just shop in SM. You can use your credit/debit card and even get points for your SM Advantage card!

We went back to SM Cebu to compare the prices of the pasalubongs we bought from Tabo-An. We then decided to try out Jonie’s in SM. It’s a local restaurant in Cebu whose radio ad we heard on our way to hotel on our first day in Cebu. The prices are pretty affordable. For only Php59, you could get a slice of sizzling porkchop with gravy, buttered vegetables, and 2 cups of rice! Busog! Hehehe…


Here’s our ITIN for Day 2:

06:30AM     Breakfast
08:00AM     Day tour in Shang Mactan
12:00NN      Lunch buffet at Tides Shang (12:00 – 2:30PM)
01:30PM      Pool
03:45PM      Health Club
05:00PM     Last trip of Shang’s shuttle to Cebu City
05:35PM      Cab to Tabo-An Market — fare: Php90 (wrong move!!!)
06:00PM     Cab to SM from Tabo-An — fare: Php90
06:30PM      SM Cebu
                         Dinner at Jonie’s
08:00PM      Cab back to our hotel — fare: I could not remember (sorry)

Who would not fall in love with the Shang? It definitely is a paradise in Cebu! It made our second day in Cebu legend… Wait for it… dary! Legendary!!! 🙂

Entry about our Day 3 to follow…